Race Weekend Central

The Yellow Stripe: 9 Drivers Who Need a Reset Button… Now

The running of the Coke Zero 400 on the high banks of the most famous venue in stock car racing this past Saturday night marked the exact halfway point in the 36-race schedule. While I’m on the subject of the weekend’s crashfest, why on earth did Coke decide to call it the Coke Zero 400 …

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The Yellow Stripe: Smoke Busting His Sophomore Slump, Heating Up at Just the Right Time

After a difficult start to his second season as owner/driver, the last month has been pretty good to Tony Stewart. Smoke, you see, as the old cliché goes starts slowly, then heats up with the summer months when the tracks get slick, slippery and treacherous. This year, it seems, is no exception, and it’s not …

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The Yellow Stripe: Who Would Be the Best 2010 Champion for NASCAR?

With Denny Hamlin’s second straight victory – and fifth overall in the last 10 races – there are plenty of people who are getting ready to crown the No. 11 wheelman as 2010 champion a full 12 races before we even get started on the big old Chase shebang. Clearly, Hamlin is on a tear, …

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The Yellow Stripe: 2nd-Place Finishes Might Lead to Chase Nirvana for Jamie Mac

For the third time in five weekends of points-paying racing, Jamie McMurray finished up in second place at Charlotte Motor Speedway this past Sunday evening. Beaten with a perfect move by Kevin Harvick at Talladega in late April, then a better car driven by Denny Hamlin at Darlington in early May, McMurray reeled in Kurt …

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The Yellow Stripe: Is the All-Star Format a Template for NASCAR’s Future?

The implementation of the double-file restarts (Shootout Style! – bleurgh) into the regular Cup schedule was one of the two changes NASCAR made on the back of the 2009 Sprint All-Star Race. There can be little doubt the double-file restarts have made for some compelling final-lap battles: Denny Hamlin at Martinsville and Ryan Newman at …

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The Yellow Stripe: The Odd Couple, Busch & Hamlin Ready to End HMS Dominance

On the surface, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are the most unlikely of teammates.

They’re as different as a quiet, leisurely summer drive on country roads versus 500 miles of beating and banging under the lights at The Lady in Black. As different as a flawless 12.5-second pit stop and missing your pit box, then running over the hose and getting a pit road speeding penalty the second time around.

Denny dutifully thanks his team, his pit crew and all his sponsors when he wins races. Kyle smashes lovingly hand crafted custom-made trophies into hundreds of pieces, by comparison.

The Yellow Stripe: Why Richmond Will Always Be A Can’t Miss on the NASCAR Circuit

In a famous article in an October 1960 edition of _The New Yorker,_ marking the final game of the illustrious career of Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams, John Updike referred to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, as a “lyric little bandbox.” For some reason, it was that beautiful description of a storied old sporting venue that kept recurring in my mind as I wandered around the Richmond International Raceway infield for the first time this past weekend. It truly is a beautiful venue for stock car racing and on a picture perfect evening, to boot.

If you’re wondering about the baseball reference, especially if you know I’m a Brit and given you’ve clicked on a NASCAR article, I arrived in Manhattan on the night of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series and couldn’t understand (having never seen a game before) how you could win it all on a Luis Gonzalez “bloop” single off the great Mariano Rivera.

The Yellow Stripe: High Time for Kurt Busch to Ruffle Johnson’s Feathers

I love Bristol. Always have, always will. From the very first race I witnessed at the famed half-mile bullring, I was utterly hooked at the nail-biting competition we so often have at Thunder Valley. After a week off, like many of you I was more than ready to settle down and watch some serious action …

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